Edited by S. Jayakumar, Tommy Koh and Robert Beckman
Evolving Issues of International Law and Policy
Edited by S. Jayakumar, Tommy Koh, Robert Beckman and Hao Duy Phan
S Jayakumar, Tommy Koh, Robert Beckman, Tara Davenport and Hao Duy Phan
On 22 January 2013, the Philippines initiated compulsory arbitration against China under Annex VII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) with regard to their disputes in the South China Sea. The Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility issued on 29 October 2015 and the Final Award issued on 12 July 2016 have been the most anticipated decisions from an international tribunal in the law of the sea, since the entry into force of UNCLOS in 1994. This introductory chapter provides an overview of UNCLOS dispute settlement mechanisms, the background to the South China Sea disputes and the key legal issues in the South China Sea Arbitration necessary to understand the legal implications of the Awards.